Who is Hayat Boumeddiene?

She's France's most wanted woman.

Hayat Boumeddiene is the widow of Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who held hostages in a Jewish supermarket and was shot dead by police on Friday.

Police say there's a connection between that attack and the killings at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

Boumeddiene is now in Syria, having crossed the border from Turkey, officials there say.

Here's what we know about her.

Before the shootings

Hayat Boumeddiene is 26.

She wears a full veil, which is banned in public in France, a decision that cost her a job as a cashier, French press reports say.

She grew up in Val-de-Marne, to the south of Paris, and has six sisters and brothers.

Hayat Boumeddiene points a crossbow at a camera
Image caption Pictures of Boumeddiene trying out crossbows in 2010 have emerged
Hayat Boumeddiene
Image caption Police released this image of Hayat Boumeddiene during the attacks

Her mother died in 1994 when she was still a young girl and she was put into foster care.

Her father is reported by Le Parisien newspaper to be "in shock" after hearing his daughter is believed to have been involved in the shootings.

Involvement in the shootings

On Thursday morning a lone gunman shot dead a policewoman and injured a man in Montrouge, a southern suburb of Paris.

The French authorities said they were looking for two people in connection with the attack: a man called Amedy Coulibaly and a woman - Hayat Boumeddiene.

A few hours later, Coulibaly took several people hostage at a Jewish supermarket in the east of Paris.

Boumeddiene's route

2 Jan: Flew from Madrid to Istanbul, accompanied by French citizen Mehdi Sabry Belhoucine. The pair attracted the suspicions of Turkish authorities, who put them under surveillance. They stayed at a hotel in the city for two days, where Boumeddiene is reported to have bought a mobile phone and SIM card

4 Jan: Domestic flight to Sanliurfa near Syrian border. She is reported to have made a number of calls to France from Turkey. The pair did not use their return tickets to Madrid, dated 9 January

8 Jan: Crossed into Syria. On the same day, her partner Amedy Coulibaly shoots dead a policewoman, using Boumeddiene's car in the attack. The French authorities announce they are looking for her

10 Jan: Last recorded phone call, reportedly from the Syrian town of Tel Abyad - not far from the border


He's thought to have killed four hostages before being shot dead by the police.

The police say Hayat Boumeddiene is an "important witness" and warn she is dangerous and "potentially armed".

The Turkish authorities say she arrived in the country before the attacks began, crossing the border into neighbouring Syria on 8 January.

Relationship with the attackers

Boumeddiene met Coulibaly through mutual friends. The pair were reportedly studying Islam at the time.

The two married in an Islamic religious ceremony in 2009 - a partnership which isn't recognised by French law.

Le Parisien has reported he intended to take a second wife.

Handout provided by French police showing Coulibaly
Image caption Her partner, Amedy Coulibaly

A series of photographs said to show the pair together in 2010 has been published in French newspaper Le Monde.

In one, she is pictured pointing a crossbow at the camera while wearing a full face veil.

France's chief prosecutor, Francois Molins, says Hayat Boumeddiene exchanged more than 500 phone calls in 2014 with the wife of Cherif Kouachi, one of the gunmen behind the Charlie Hebdo magazine killings.

The Associated Press agency says it has obtained official records showing Hayat Boumeddiene was very close to Islamic radicals known to French internal security services.

It says the records show she was once interrogated by French officials about her reaction to terrorist acts committed by al-Qaeda.

A friend of Boumeddiene told Le Parisien she last saw her about a month ago at a "girls' dinner". She said Boumeddiene gave out gifts she had brought back from a recent pilgrimage to Mecca.

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